What Are The Most Sustainable Wood Flooring Options?

Hardwood floors have been the standard for style and beauty for decades. However, with an ever-growing knowledge of the importance of sustainability, many homeowners are interested in ensuring that their flooring is environmentally friendly. Luckily, many parts of the flooring industry are just as interested in being sustainable, their business depends on it after all, so there are a number of sustainable wood flooring options on the market today.

 If you’re new to the space, you may be wondering what makes some flooring options sustainable when others are not. If you find yourself wondering what your environmentally friendly wood floor options are, this is the article for you. As Philadelphia’s hardwood flooring experts, we’ll walk you through what wood flooring materials are safe for the environment and why.

 

What Makes Wood Sustainable 

The number one aspect of sustainable wood is that it is legally sourced. It is illegal to import timber from unregulated sources. If you’re buying wood and the supplier can’t tell you exactly where it originates from, it’s quite possible that it came from a source that does not responsibly harvest wood. 

The second marker of sustainable wood is a seal from the U.S. Forest Stewardship Council. This non-profit organization ensures that forests are harvested in a way that allows them to regrow, preserves biodiversity, and protects water and air quality in the area. In order to get the organization’s seal of approval, the forest operation must meet a wide range of over 50 criteria, including standards like limiting the use of toxic chemicals and poor logging practices. Wood materials that meet this standard bear a FSC logo and a number that indicates the chain of custody of the wood, which allows it to be traced back to its origin.

Sustainable Wood Flooring Options

So now that we know what traits make wood environmentally-friendly, what are a homeowner’s options to acquire this kind of wood on the market? There are several sources of sustainable wood:

Tree Plantations

can be an effective way for timber to be harvested while keeping pressure off of natural forests. This method of harvesting works well as long as the cultivated plantations don’t replace the natural forests. The other advantage of domestic tree plantations that they often ship locally, meaning that the carbon emissions generated by their transportation is also reduced.

Reclaimed Wood 

is sourced from places like dismantled houses, warehouses, or old floors. This option can be a little more expensive due to the extra labor required to source, clean, and re-mill the wood, but it is one of the most environmentally friendly options available. You’re essentially recycling old wood that would otherwise often go wasted. 

 

Salvaged Wood

flooring is sourced from trees that otherwise would go to waste. Many trees become waste just because they’re old or diseased, are in inconvenient locations, or suffer some sort of damage. While these trees wouldn’t necessarily produce pristine lumber when it comes to industry ratings, they can still be used to make beautiful planks.

Bamboo Flooring

is a great replacement for consumers that want the beauty and durability of hardwood flooring, but with a bit less of an environmental impact. Bamboo is beautiful, contracts less than many hardwoods due to environmental stresses, and is actually harder than popular wood species like maple and red oak. Best of all for those interested in sustainability, because bamboo grows so fast it is easy to harvest while leaving less of an environmental impact than slow-growing hardwoods. 

Now that you know what sustainable wood flooring options are out there you should be in a better position to choose the kind of floor that works best for you. If you’re looking for a tight-knit team of knowledgeable experts to install your hardwood flooring, look no further than Artisan Wood Floors. For a free quote, call (215) 515-7355 today and ask for Steve!

 

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